Injustice. Travesty. Corruption. These are just a few of my thoughts after beholding this awful news. The Russian government have banned the Nigerian practice of taking live chickens to their football games for luck. Many Super Eagles supporters were planning to take live fowl with them to the Kaliningrad Stadium for Nigeria’s opening game against Croatia.
The Kaliningrad Minister of Culture believes that ‘it is not possible’ for these chickens to be brought into the stadium. I can only imagine the debates surrounding this issue. No doubt that this has taken priority in the Russian courts over this last week before the tournament begins. Additionally, this is not the first time that this doctrine has been prevented. Nigeria fans at the 2010 South Africa World Cup also saw the outlawing of their tradition. In this tournament, the side won only one point, facing elimination from the competition in the group stage. Furthermore, following this, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan enforced a two year ban on international football. Due to this, the team was at risk of a ban by FIFA due to political interference. One conclusion is evident, however.
When the chickens are present at football games, the Nigerian fans seem to be at harmony with the world. Most importantly, however, the beautiful new Nigeria kit saw creation whilst lucky chickens were still present. In my honest opinion, this decision may lead to anarchy as a result. The very balance of forces and spirits at the World Cup is in question here. If Nigeria lose a game, the omnipresent question will remain. Could they have won with the help of the chickens?
Luckily, the news isn’t all bad for Super Eagles fans. Designated areas will exist outside the stadium where the fans can carry their lucky chickens.
Nigeria face Croatia to open their World Cup campaign.